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The meticulous ballet of concrete printing

3D printing of concrete holds the promise of revolutionizing architecture, much in the same way the introduction of concrete and steel did over a century ago. 3D printing of buildings allows for an unprecedented and eye-catching freedom of shape, texture and functionality. But it is not only the 3D printed products that have their own characteristic appearance. The construction worker of the imminent future, the printing robot, performs his unwearying labor non-stop, in one go. It is a fascinating process to watch, a meticulous ‘ballet’ with a specific choreography, based on the building design. For the Dutch Design Week 2020, this was captured in this video.

https://youtu.be/tVQLaZ8L03I

Besides a profound impact on architecture, 3D-printing technology also is a revolution in the building industry. It will change key aspects like customization, flexibility, building speed and automation. In the Netherlands, a consortium of complementary partners has set out to boost the development of the required science and technology to make 3D printed houses a reality. Project Milestone is a cooperation of Eindhoven University of Technology, Weber Beamix Saint Gobain, contractor Van Wijnen, property manager Vesteda, engineering W+B and Eindhoven Municipality. Together they have set the goal to develop, build and let five concrete printed houses. These houses will be built consecutively, to assure maximum learning and exploration over the course of the whole project.

The first 3D-printed concrete house of this project is currently being printed. It will be built in the Meerhoven area in Eindhoven, and is expected to be ready at the start of 2021.

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